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Synthetic materials 101(6 posts)

Synthetic materials 101Trux
Sep 25, 2003 10:34 AM
Is the carbon material used in graphite golf club shafts similar to that used in carbon fiber bicycle frames? If not, has this graphite material ever been used to build a bike frame?
re: Synthetic materials 101carpe_podium
Sep 25, 2003 10:56 AM
While slicing balls at the driving range, I've wondered about this too. I came to the conclusion that graphite is too flexy. Think about those graphite fishing poles also.
re: Synthetic materials 101raptorUW
Sep 25, 2003 2:38 PM
i'm no Materials scientist, but i'll offer this conjecture: carnac for sure, (and i think sidi) use "graphite carbon" in the manufacture of their carbon soled shoes. i think that carbon fiber comes in different "strand-lengths" each with their own structural merits. i think the medium and longer stranded versions work better in tubing/frame applications whereas the graphite is not so good for that app.
Sep 25, 2003 4:42 PM
I'm fairly certain they're the same thing. It all comes down to the definition of graphite & carbon, as there is some graphite in CF. Someone had a link to this a while ago. Found it: here it is -

The boron used in golf clubs is a different thing, however, but no one as used this in bicycle manufacture as the fiber diameters are much bigger than carbon - consequently it is harder to mould into shapes as they aren't as flexible.
One more thingSynchronicity
Sep 25, 2003 4:59 PM
ZIP states that:
Graphite, on the other hand, exhibits a beautiful, perfect crystalline structure similar to that of table salt, making the material weak and brittle.
Note that graphite has strong hexagonal molecular bonding in 2 dimensions, and these "sheets" are very weakly bonded together by van der waals forces. THE STRUCTURE IS NOTHING LIKE TABLE SALT! (which has a simple cubic structure) Chalk to cheese.
Simple responseKerry Irons
Sep 25, 2003 4:54 PM
Within reason, all of the CF used in sporting goods, aerospace, etc. is the same. You can vary fiber lenght, matt or weave density, somewhat vary fiber density, and you can vary the epoxy (plastic continuous phase). So yes, your golf clubs and your Trek are pretty much the same stuff. How thick it is, how it's laid up, the density, and more importantly the tube diameter will influence the properties of the finished article. The beauty of CF structures is that you can play with these parameters to more finely tune the response. The weakness of CF (compared to Ti and steel) is that you can really screw things up if you don't know what your're doing, and that it is susceptible to delamination, fiber breakage, fiber pullout, and epoxy cracking.